Jeep Wrangler JK: Lift Kit Reviews and How-to

There are so many choices in lift kits available to JK owners that the choices can be overwhelming.By Jeffrey Smith – December 8, 2015

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

Lift kits add significant ride height and wheel well clearance to your Jeep. They not only make your Jeep look like a classic off-road machine, they get out there and over the rocks. With the brutality of rock hopping, you want to make sure that you get the best bang for your buck when shopping for a lift kit. You need something not only durable, but something that you can depend upon to get you in and out of situations that others fear to tread.

How do you know which kit is right for you? Once you make the decision on which kit to go with, what’s next? Do you pay nearly twice the price to have a pro install it, or do you save the extra money and do it yourself? Those answers can be found here, so read on and learn how to install a lift kit as well as get the latest reviews to help you decide on the right lift for your JK.

Table of Contents

How to Install a Lift Kit

Materials Needed

  • 3/8″ ratchet and socket set or impact wrench (optimal)
  • Hydraulic floor jack
  • Jack stands (extra tall)
  • Possibly might need track bar, driveshaft and shocks depending upon the kit

Step 1 – Lift your Jeep

This seems like a no-brainer, but you need to get your Jeep up and high. While it is still on the ground, break free the lugs on the tires so they don’t spin, then raise your Jeep. If you have access to a lift, all the better; if not, you’ll need a floor jack to get it lifted and some jack stands to set it on, at their highest setting. Always use jack stands when working under your JK, especially when you are working on the suspension. Always use the manufacturer’s recommended jack stand locations.

Figure 1. Always use jack stands when working under your Jeep.

Step 2 – Remove the tires, wheels and track bar

Basically, all the old suspension components need to be removed first.

  • Remove the transmission crossmember.
  • Un-mount the shock beds from the front wheels. You will have to use a wrench by hand for this task.
  • Remove the track bar and make sure to keep your mounting bolts and components, unless you are sure your kit comes with new ones.
  • Remove the wheels.
Figure 2. Remove skid plate and then the transmission crossmember.

Figure 3. Remove the track bar, then the springs and shock towers.

Step 3 – Remove the springs and shock towers

Once the tires are off, removing the springs and shock towers are pretty straightforward.

  • Take out the shocks by removing the lower mounting bolt, as you should have already removed the tower mounting bolt.
  • Once the shocks are out, the springs should be able to slide right off by lifting up and off the lower bed, then slide down out of the tower.

Figure 4. Removing the shocks and springs.

Step 4 – Install the new lift kit

Depending upon which lift kit you purchase, you may need to add either the supplied longer control arms or the included link ends, whichever is required with your lift.

Figure 5. Make sure to use the included link end parts to keep your alignment in the correct specs.

Step 5 – Don’t forget the bump stop spacer

If you are adding larger tires with your lift, be sure to use the included bump stop spacers to avoid tearing up your wheel well when hopping rocks. This will prevent the top of your tire from smashing into the top of the fender, tearing it up.

Figure 6. The bump stop spacer is a very important component when adding a lift kit.

Step 6 – Install the new coils and shocks

Your lift kit contains some heavy duty spring coils that are much taller as well as much thicker than the OEM coils that you removed. This heavy duty rig is designed to not only make you sit much higher, but its compression is much tougher, allowing for the heavy hits you will take jumping over rocks. Some kits also come with heavy duty shocks; if yours did not, this is something to seriously consider when lifting your Jeep. When the shocks and the springs are installed, you will need to replace the track bar using the materials provided in your kit. Once you have the front end completed, it is a very much similar process for lifting the rear.

Figure 7. The new coils as well as shocks should easily slide in and mount up perfectly.

Figure 8. Make sure to reinstall your track bar according to manufacturer specifications.

Featured Videos: Lift Kit Installation

https://youtube.com/watch?v=FwY0yjWfBok

Lift Kit Review

There are a myriad of choices when looking for a lift kit. You have many options from slight lifts that give you an inch or two rise, up to a monster 6 inches. Some kits are just bare bones, while others include a ton of components to change out. Depending upon the kit you choose will determine how long it will take for you to change it out yourself. You may opt for a bare bones kit if you are on a limited time and budget, or a massive kit if you have the time and mechanical inclination of taking on a weekend DIY job. Some popular kits among JK owners are listed below to help your decision making go a little easier.

Skyjacker Teraflex AEV Rough Country
Price $940 $4,500 $2,000 $350
Lift Size 4″ 6″ 3.5″ to 4.5″ 3″
Ride Quality Soft Hard Soft Bouncy
Tire Fitment Up to 35″ Up to 38″ Up to 37″ up to 35″

Best Quality: AEV

Best Value: Rough Country

Skyjacker

Price – $940

Lift Size – 4 inches

Ride Quality – Soft

Tire Fitment – 35 inches

A very popular lift among JK owners is the Skyjacker. Skyjacker makes lifts from 2.5 through 4 inches. Anything over the 2.5 inch lift will require an additional driveshaft and the unit described here does not include shocks, which can be obtained in a larger kit from Skyjacker or you can furnish your favorite aftermarket shocks. The fitment is great and it is an easy install. The front end will sag a little if you have extra hardware mounted, such as a winch rig. In such cases, you will need to add some spacers. Recommended for the rock hopper who wants a nice lift at a reasonable price point and likes a smoother, softer ride.

Teraflex


Price – 
$4,500

Lift Size – 6 inches

Ride Quality – Hard

Tire Fitment – 38 inches

Teraflex will give you one of the tallest rides available. With this large kit, you will need to have a lot more mechanical know-how than the other kits if you plan on doing this job on your own. Additional cutting and welding will likely be required as will be modifications to your driveshaft, unless you plan on purchasing a new aftermarket heavy duty driveshaft. Teraflex also makes shorter lifts for the JK that have received high ratings from JK owners. The 6″ lift, while many JK owners will feel is excessive, will get you in and out of areas those others won’t dare to run. While it is a rough rider, if you are looking at running in areas that this lift will excel, the ride probably isn’t your biggest concern. Recommended for the serious off-roaders who love to sit as high as possible and take massive jumps.

AEV

Price – $2,000

Lift Size – 3.5 to 4.5 inches

Ride Quality – Soft

Tire Fitment – 37 inches

The AEV lift kits come with rave reviews from their owners. Most negative comments are in regards to a shop not installing them correctly. As far as workmanship and ride handling, the AEV can’t be beat. They offer a high quality soft ride capable of almost any rock hopping adventure you want to embark. Recommended for those who want a high quality ride capable of bringing miles of smiles for the daily driver and also likes to venture off-road.

Rough Country

Price – $350

Lift Size – 3 inches

Ride Quality – Bouncy

Tire Fitment – 35 inches

Rough Country is the most economical lift out there. The low price point is very seductive to many folks. This kit gets some low marks from many JK owners who are unhappy with the ride feel on both on and off-road applications. It is really bouncy and rolls quite a bit. If you are a novice to DIY jobs, this kit is extremely easy and quick to install. If you aren’t concerned too much with ride feel and are just getting your feet wet with off-roading, this may be the starter kit for you. Recommended for the novice rock hopper who just wants to see what it is all about without dropping a large amount of cash on a high quality kit.

Related Discussions

Jeep Wrangler JK: Suspension Modifications

There are various modifications that you can do to the suspension of your JK. Here are some ideas.By Jeffrey Smith – December 7, 2015

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

If you are looking to make some modifications to your JK suspension, you have many choices out there. From adjustable control arms to lift kits and track bars, the choices are nearly endless with a myriad of aftermarket contenders looking for your business. How do you know which system is right for you? For starters, you need to know exactly what you want to achieve; are you looking for a slight lift, a rake, or just a beefier suspension for flexing over the rocks? Do you just want to sit tall in the saddle running down the pavement? Having some idea of what you wish to achieve goes a long way with limiting your choices over and above what your pocketbook will allow. Most modifications can be done in your own garage with a little know-how, which can further lesson the cost and possibly open up some more options for you.

Jeep JK Suspension Modifications

When modifying your suspension, you have many options available. With longer springs as found in a lift kit, you can really raise up your Jeep to give it that classic rugged look perfect for rock hopping or just riding high down the pavement. For a smoother ride, or more durable suspension for climbing, you may opt for some heavy duty shock absorbers. If you are just looking for more responsive steering or better handling capabilities, look no further than adjustable control arms or track bar upgrades. With so many choices, it may be hard to make that decision. Here are a few of the many options out the

Figure 1. Before and after lift.

Off-Road Heavy Duty Lifts

DIY Cost – $500

DIY Time – 3-4 hours

Professional Cost – $800 and up

Skill Level – Moderate; will take a weekend to install.

The Rough Country brand 4″ lift is a popular choice among JK owners. It’s moderate cost makes this a truly affordable DIY job if you have the time. The long springs included in these kits give you a much taller ride and wheel well clearance to allow for a much bigger tire, if that was something that you were looking to do as well. The Skyjacker 4″ kit is another popular choice, but it will set you back closer to $800, and for the ultimate setup, the Rock Jock will give you 4″ inches of high performance off road lift for about $2,500. Recommended for drivers who want to lift their JK.

Shock Absorbers

DIY Cost – About $250

DIY Time – 45-75 minutes

Professional Cost – $400 and up

Skill Level – Moderately easy; this is a real affordable option to modifying your JK.

Heavy duty shock absorbers are a great way to enhance the feel of your ride and give you a little better option for off-roading. The heavy duty shocks will allow for more aggressive handling over rough terrain, or make your daily drive a lot smoother, especially if you have some really rough roads to cover on your way to the office. Recommended for drivers who want better handling during off-roading.

Adjustable Control Arms

DIY Cost – $180

DIY Time – 75-90 minutes

Professional Cost – $300 and up

Skill Level – Easy; it doesn’t need special tools, but additional modifications may be necessary.

Adjustable control arms will allow you to spread your axles out a little, especially in the rear. This longer wheel base will give you a much smoother ride, as well as allow a lot more flexibility and stability in your off-road adventures. The low cost of this DIY job will only take a few hours and will make a huge difference. There are other modifications you will need to take into consideration, especially with rear adjustable control arms, such as relocating the sway bar to prevent it from hitting the springs and the addition of spring wedges to correct the bowing when the axle is moved back. Recommended for drivers who want a smoother ride.

Track Bar Modifications

DIY Cost – $250

DIY Time – 60-75 minutes

Professional Cost – Starting around $500

Skill Level – Easy; it doesn’t require special tools.

An upgraded front adjustable track bar is almost always recommended when a lift kit is installed on the JK. It is well documented that the stock track bar is fine, but the mounting points and welds are suspect with the additional stress placed on them. There are two highly recommended brands, JKS and Teraflex Monster. You can’t go wrong with either, but the Teraflex is truly adjustable and very beefy for the serious rock hopper. Recommended for drivers who will install a lift kit.

Related Discussions

Jeep Wrangler JK: Suspension Noise Diagnostic Guide

There are several suspension components causing noise in your Jeep. Some are normal, and some can be indicative of a real problem. Learn how to self-diagnose before tearing your JK apart.By Jeffrey Smith – December 3, 2015

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

Some of the most common complaints among JK owners in regards to their suspension is some noisy and annoying squeaks, pops, clunks or squeals from somewhere under the body. A noisy suspension is not only irritating, it could also be a sign that something isn’t quite right and has the potential to cause additional problems if left untreated. You don’t have to live with an annoying noise from your suspension and you shouldn’t either. Use this diagnostic guide to help pinpoint where that noise is coming from and what you need to do to get it fixed. This may be a job for the DIYer, or the big guns may need to be called in depending upon the issue. The important thing is that you took the time to pinpoint the problem and know what needs to be done to get the problem corrected. Use this guide to determine if you should take her in, or save a ton of money doing this work yourself.

Materials Needed

  • Floor jack and jack stands
  • Crow bar, pry bar or breaker bar
  • 3/8″ drive ratchet and various sockets
  • Assistant

Step 1 – Check your bushings

They could be cracked or brittle and causing direct metal-on-metal contact, or very dirty and devoid of lubricant.

The bushings at the end of your control arm are the more common causes of noisy suspensions. If the bushings are in good working order, they likely just need either to be re-torqued or need a good cleaning and lubing. Try over-tightening and torquing to at least 125 pounds or more to see if that solves the noisy problem. If it still persists, then we need to take apart the bushings and clean each component real well. The metal washers and pieces do well in brake fluid. Get them nice and clean, then apply a very liberal amount of waterproof marine lubricant to all surfaces and re-assemble. Make sure you torque them to at least 125 pounds. This should take care of that annoying squeak for many more miles.

Figure 1. Clean up and lube the control arm bushings to stop that annoying squeaking sound.

If you are hearing a clunking noise, it could be your steering box.

Step 2 – Check steering box for clunking noise

You may have some play in the selector shafts.

Prior to the 2009 model year, Jeep used a steering box that has had many problems with clunking noise from too much wear going on with the selector shafts. In ’09 they upgraded to a heavy duty steering box. While you may take yours to the dealership, or a shop, to have a new box installed or to have the components repaired, the problem will likely return if they do not replace it with the upgraded HD version.

  • Have someone sit in your Jeep to turn the steering wheel from full lock to full lock left to right and feel for the clunk.
  • The clunk should feel more intense as you move toward the Pitman arm and selector shaft.
  • Have your assistant make small, sharper left and right turns much faster.
  • You will likely see some play in the selector shaft. There should be none. If the play in that shaft is very much greater than 1/8″, you must get this remedied ASAP.
Figure 2. Check the sector shaft in the steering box for any side to side play.

Figure 3. Aside from a complete rebuild, installing a sector shaft brace such as this one from Synergy may help resolve the clunking noise in your steering box.

If you don’t have a clunk from the steering box, but a general rattling noise from somewhere under the Jeep, it could be your joints.

Step 3 – Check ball joints and U-joints

The bushings could be bad or need lubricated.

The ball joints could potentially be bad, but it is more likely the bushings attached. Check them for proper torque (125 pounds). You may even wish to over-tighten them.

  • Raise one side of the front end and put some axle weight onto a jack stand.
  • Use a crowbar or other heavy pipe to lift the tire up and down to look for play in the lower ball joints.
  • Grab the top as well as bottom of the tire to move it in and out to check for play in the upper ball joints.
  • They should not have any side to side or up and down play more than .050 to .060″. If they do, replace the joints.
  • If the play is within that range, check on the bushing and make sure they are tight as well as clean; use some marine grade waterproof lubricant.
  • If they check out and the noise persists, check the U-joints, which is a lot more labor intensive.
  • Remove the tire, brakes and wheel hub.
  • Pull the axle shaft, remove the hub from the shaft, then replace the U-joints with high grade, heavy duty U-joints, and make sure to torque them to specifications.
Figure 4. The rattling noise could be from bad bushing in your ball joints.

Figure 5. If the ball joints and bushings check out fine, take a close look at the U-joints and replace them if needed.

If you are hearing a slight creaking or popping noise while flexing, it is likely normal.

Step 4 – Check controls arms or shock mounts rubbing against frame rails

Some rubbing while off-road driving will be normal.

While off-roading, some creaking noise is going to be normal, especially with lift kits installed. While this may be disconcerting at first, you will probably get used to it. Off-roading will cause some flexing of metal parts that normally wouldn’t flex at all. You may see some rub marks at the shock tower or on the coils. This should be considered normal wear, but for peace of mind, have it looked at by a pro who is an expert in installing lift kits and off-road packages to be sure.

Figure 6. Your noise may be from the coil springs rubbing again the frame rails while off-road driving and this is likely very normal wear.

If you are still hearing a clunking noise that wasn’t resolved with prior checks, look to the rear of your Jeep.

Step 5 – Check rear control arm bushings and track bar

The rear control arm bushings may have gone bad or the snap ring broken, which can cause a clunking noise.

The rear control arm is prone to breaking snap rings, which can cause the metal-on-metal slapping noise. This can also happen if the JK track bar or jam nut is hitting the springs. This happens often if the wedges have been removed or missing.

Figure 7. Check your rear track bar to see if it may be slapping the spring coils.

Related Discussions

Jeep Wrangler JK: Shock Absorber Reviews and How-to

Shock absorbers mount between the wheels and vehicle body. They reduce effects like body sway and jarring that occurs when driving over rough surfaces. Shock absorbers vary by design, making research important when choosing one for your needs.By Weston Chadwick – December 1, 2015
Contributors: TEEJ, Calypso

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

Shock absorbers use hydraulic fluid and gas to dampen movement as the shock compresses. Without a shock absorber, the coil spring and tires would provide the only cushioning. This would lead to bounciness and jarring, making your JK hard to withstand while driving. Shocks are a heavily used part that must remain leak-free. When a shock absorber breaks, you may notice your JK sagging on a corner or excessive play in the steering while driving over bumps. The shock absorbers are a fairly easy item to replace. They are often one of the first components swapped when modifying the JK for off-road performance.

Table of Contents

How to Install Shock Absorbers

Materials Needed

  • Floor Jack
  • Jack stands (x2)
  • 19mm or 3/4″ socket
  • Wheel chocks (rear shocks only)
  • Impact wrench (optional)
  • 1/2″ ratchet
  • 13mm deep and shallow socket
  • 15mm deep socket
  • Vice grips
  • 3/8″ ratchet
  • 6″ 3/8″ extension
  • 13mm wrench
  • 1/2″ torque wrench
  • 5/8″ socket (rear shocks)
  • 18mm wrench rear shocks)
  • Pry bar (rear shocks)

Front Shock Absorbers

Step 1 – Raise and remove the front wheels

Engage the parking brake. If you don’t have an impact wrench capable of removing lug nuts, loosen the lug nuts a full turn with the tires on the ground. Place the floor jacks pad under one of the front jacking points. Raise the vehicle high enough to place a jack stand beside it on the jacking point and lower the vehicle onto the jack stand. Remove the lug nuts with a 3/4″ or 19mm socket.

Figure 1. The jacking points.

Step 2 – Remove the lower shock mounting bolts

Locate the front shock absorbers. They are beside the coil springs. Two bolts hold the bottom of the shock to the axle. Use a 13mm shallow or deep socket to remove the nuts on the mounting bolts. Hold the mounting bolts stationary while you’re loosening the nuts.

Figure 2. The lower shock bolts.

Step 3 – Remove the upper shock retaining nut

Remove the nut on the top of the shock by feeding a deep 15mm socket with a 6″ extension through the hole on the shock tower. Your factory shock may have two upper nuts instead of one. Place a wrench on the nut below the shock tower. This nut is apart of the shock and keeps the shock from turning while loosening the upper nut. If this nut is not apart of your shock, attach a pair of vice grips to the shock to prevent it from turning.

Figure 3. Reaching the upper shock nut through the shock tower.

Figure 4. Using vice grips to keep the shock from turning.

Step 4 – Remove the shock

Compress the shock with your hands until the top of the shock can be moved out of the shock tower. Use a pair of pliers or vice grips to maintain grip with the shock.

Figure 5. Compressing the shock to remove it from the vehicle.

Step 5 – Install the new shock

Assemble your new shock, noting the position of bushings and boots. There should be a bushing on each side of the shock tower. Read through your shocks installation instructions for specifics during this step, as they vary by manufacturer.

As your mounting the bottom of the shock to the axle, install both bolts into the mounting brackets at the same time. This will keep the shock flat against the bracket, making installation easier.

Tighten the upper nut to 20 ft/lbs and the bottom nuts to 50 ft/lbs. Re-install the wheels and tighten the lug nuts to 100 ft/lbs in a star pattern.

Rear Shock Absorbers

Step 1 – Raise and remove the rear wheels

Place wheel chocks in front and behind one of the front wheels. Follow the same instructions found in Step 1 of the front shock replacement how-to.

Step 2 – Remove the upper shock mounting bolts

Locate the upper bolts holding the top of the rear shock to the frame. Remove these with a 5/8″ socket. You’ll need a 6″ extension, as well.

Figure 6. Removing the bolts at the top of the rear shock.

Step 3 – Remove the lower bolt from the shock

To remove this bolt, you must hold the nut stationary. Use a wrench and socket combination to remove the nut, and then pry upwards on the bottom of the shock to slide it out of the axle bracket.

Figure 7. The lower rear shock mounting bolt.

Step 4 – Install the new shock

Install the upper portion of the new shock, but don’t fully tighten the bolts. To install the bottom bolt, you’ll need to compress the shock by hand far enough to slide it back into the axle bracket. The bolt hole in the shock and bracket will not line up until the shock is slightly compressed. Keep pressure against the shock with a pry bar while tightening the lower bolt.

Torque the upper bolts to 40 ft/lbs and the lower bolt to 50 ft/lbs. Re-install the wheels and torque the lug nuts to 100 ft/lbs. Tighten them in a star pattern.

Featured Videos: Front and Rear Shock Installation

Shock Absorbers Review

Over the years, shocks have progressed rapidly in terms of technology. Shocks are now made with self-adjusting valves and high strength metals to perform in the toughest conditions. There are many choices when choosing a shock from companies with industry leading technology and lifetime warranties. The hardest quality to find in a shock is exceptional performance and comfort on-road and off-road. A shock that’s soft in the mid range to reduce bumps felt during highway driving, but stiff enough to maintain tire traction with the ground while off-road is ideal for those using their JK for both purposes.

Rancho 9000XBilstein 5100Fox 2.0O.M.E.Pro Comp MX6
Price$500$280$130-$330 each$100 each$100 each
AdjustableYesNoYesNoYes
Ride QualityStiffStiffStiffSoftStiff
Lift FriendlyYesYesYesYesYes
Twin tube or MonotubeTwin tubeMonotubeMonotubeMonotubeMonotube
WarrantyLimited LifetimeLimited Lifetime1 year3 years or 60,000 kilometersLimited Lifetime

Best Quality: Fox 2.0

Best Value: Bilstein 5100

Rancho 9000X

Price – $500

Adjustable – Yes

Ride Quality – Stiff

Lift Friendly – Yes

Twin Tube or Monotube – Twin Tube

Warranty – Limited Lifetime

The Rancho 9000X is nine-way manually adjustable shock, making adjustment easy for everyday driving or maximum performance. It’s a nitrogen gas charged shock and is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Rancho is a division of Tenneco, makers of some of the most widely used suspension components in automotive. Rancho even offers you a 90-day free ride offer to see what the shock is capable of firsthand. Recommended for those looking for an adjustable shock at a competitive price.

Bilstein 5100

Price – $280

Adjustable – No

Ride Quality – Stiff

Lift Friendly – Yes

Twin Tube or Monotube – Monotube

Warranty – Limited Lifetime

Bilstein was started in 1873. Over the years, they’ve continued development in the aftermarket and original equipment manufacturers. The Bilstein 5100 shock features monotube gas pressure technology with self-adjusting deflecting disc valving. This creates a smooth even ride in conditions on-road and off. Bilstein backs their shock with a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser. Recommended if your looking for a shock with exceptional performance and comfort at a price that’s hard to beat.

Fox 2.0

Price – $130-$330 each

Adjustable – Yes

Ride Quality – Stiff

Lift Friendly – Yes

Twin Tube or Monotube – Monotube

Warranty – 1 year

These shocks are made from high strength 6061 T6 aluminum and feature a clear anodized finish for corrosion protection. For those more focused in off-road performance, Fox offers a remote fluid reservoir option. This reservoir keeps the shock fluid cooler, maintaining performance during periods of high demand. Although built with quality components, Fox only warrants there shock for one year. Recommended for heavy off-road use.

O.M.E.

Price – $100 each

Adjustable – No

Ride Quality – Soft

Lift Friendly – Yes

Twin Tube or Monotube – Monotube

Warranty – 3 years or 60,000 kilometers

Old Man Emu focused on ride quality while developing there NitroCharger shock. This shock includes a triple stage valving process only rivaled by adjustable remote reservoir shocks. The shocks mid range (the area most used during highway driving) is multi-staged to provide a softer, more forgiving response over road imperfections. Old Man Emu backs their shock with a 3 year or 60,000 kilometer warranty. Recommended for the daily driven JK.

Pro Comp MX6

Price – $100 each

Adjustable – Yes

Ride Quality – Stiff

Lift Friendly – Yes

Twin Tube or Monotube – Monotube

Warranty – Limited Lifetime

Pro Comp MX6 shock are six-way adjustable and utilize a monotube design for improved on and off-road performance. The shocks feature double welded shock mounts for added stability and self-adjusting custom valving that responds to road conditions for a mixture of comfort and performance. These shocks are backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Recommended for JK owners after a shock with great features and an industry leading warranty.

Related Discussions

Jeep Wrangler JK: How to Install Control Arm Geometry Correction Brackets

Once you lift your JK over two and a half inches, the control arm geometry changes. These changes alter alignment angles that work against your suspension and keep it from reaching its potential.By Weston Chadwick – December 1, 2015
Contributors: Rough Country

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

Control arms tie the axles and frame together, providing the rigidity and control needed for easy steering and control. When you modify the working angles of the suspension with a lift, changes to alignment angles, such as castor, occur. These changes effect handling and stability, as well as operating angles, for important components such as drive shafts. Control arm correction brackets move the working angle more parallel to the ground, transferring more energy from the road into the coil spring. This improves traction with the road surface during braking and cornering.

Materials Needed

  • 1/2″ ratchet
  • Pry bar
  • Wrenches (14mm-21mm)
  • Sockets (12mm-21mm)
  • Die grinder with cut-off wheel (optional)
  • 1/2″ torque wrench
  • Front control arm correction kit

This how-to is based off the Rough Country front control arm relocation kit.

Step 1 – Remove heat shields over upper control arms

Remove the bolt holding the heat shields to the control arms. Pull the heat shield off the control arms once the bolt is removed.

Figure 1. The upper control arm heat shield.

Step 2 – Remove upper control arm bolt

This bolt is too long to be fully removed with the exhaust installed. You can remove the exhaust or use a die grinder/pneumatic saw to cut the head off the bolt. Make sure a replacement bolt is included with your kit or have a new one ready. Also, make sure the grade or strength of the bolt is the same as the original. When removing a bolt that is tightened with a nut on the thread, remember to hold the nut stationary, otherwise the nut may spin in place and not loosen.

Figure 2. The upper control arm bolt.

Step 3 – Remove lower control arm bolt

Remove the bolt using the same process used in Step 2. This bolt won’t need to be cut.

Figure 3. Removing the lower control arm bolt.

Step 4 – Remove second upper control arm bolt

Once removed, the upper control arm can be removed from the brackets. Get ready to install the drop brackets.

Figure 4. Removing the second upper control arm bolt.

Step 5 – Install frame side of the drop brackets

Slide the frame side of the drop bracket into place, and then slide the new bolts into the brackets. Install the bolt sleeves over the bolts between the frame side bracket and the outside bracket.

Figure 5. Installing the frame bracket and bolts into the outside bracket.

Step 6 – Install upper control arm

Hand-tighten the nuts holding the brackets to the frame. Slide the upper control arm into the new brackets and hand-tighten the mounting nuts. Slide the back portion of the lower control arm into the new brackets and hand-tighten this nut also.

Figure 6. Installing the control arms into the new brackets.

Step 7 – Install lower control arm into axle bracket

The control arm will need to be compressed slightly to line up the axle and control arm bolt holes. Place a pry bar against the coil bucket between the axle and spindle. Push forward on the coil bucket while pushing the bolt through the bolt holes.

Figure 7. Installing the lower control arm into the axle bracket.

Step 8 – Finish installation

Torque the lower control arm bolts to 125 ft/lbs and the upper control arms bolts to 75 ft/lbs.

Featured Video: Rough Country Suspension Jeep JK Arm Drop Brackets

https://youtube.com/watch?v=GCx6IiDnKgE

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Jeep Wrangler JK: How to Replace Rear Wheel Bearings

The rear wheel bearing takes up the space between the axle shaft and wheel hub. It must stay lubricated as it rotates inside the axle shaft housing, otherwise damage will quickly result. Replacement takes some time and some specialized equipment is needed.By Weston Chadwick – December 1, 2015

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

The rear wheel bearing reduces the friction between the axle shaft and and wheel hub. High amounts of heat are generated here as the vehicle moves down the road at highway speeds. Grease packed into the bearing during assembly keeps the friction at a minimum and counteracts the wear that would otherwise result in excessive play. An impact with a hole in the road can damage the bearing, as well. A faulty wheel bearing is most often noticed by the growling sound it creates. This sounds becomes louder as vehicle speed increases.

Materials Needed

  • Impact wrench (optional)
  • Sockets (5/16″, 3/4″ or 19mm, 18mm)
  • 1/2″ and 3/8″ ratchet
  • Wheel chocks
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands (x2)
  • Hammer
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Slide hammer with wheel hub attachment (optional)
  • Pry bar (optional)
  • 1/2″ torque wrench
  • Shop press
  • Rear axle bearing kit

Step 1 – Raise and remove the rear wheels

Place wheel chocks in front of and behind one of the front wheels. If you don’t have an impact wrench capable of removing lug nuts, loosen the lug nuts one full turn before raising the wheels off the ground. Move the pad of a floor jack below one of the rear jacking points and raise it high enough to place a jack stand beside the pad on the jacking point. Lower the vehicle weight onto the jack stand and remove the rear wheels with a 3/4″ or 19mm socket.

Figure 1. The jacking points.

Step 2 – Remove caliper and bracket from wheel hub

Two bolts hold the caliper bracket to the wheel hub. These bolts will be tight. You may need a breaker bar with an 18mm socket and penetrating fluid. Don’t let the caliper bracket hang by the rubber brake hose. Hang the bracket from a coil spring with a piece of wire.

Figure 2. The location of the two caliper bracket bolts (A).

Step 3 – Remove the rotor

The rotor simply slides off the wheel studs. It may be stuck in place. If so, lightly tap the “hat” of the rotor with a hammer (inside portion) to un-seize it.

Figure 3. The rear rotor hat.

Step 4 – Remove emergency brake cable eye loop

Behind the brake backing plate you will see where the emergency brake cable connects to the brake hardware inside the hub assembly. Remove the cable from the hook on the axle tube by pulling downwards. Using pliers, remove the hook end of the cable by twisting and pulling it out of the eye loop.

Figure 4. The parking brake cable eye loop.

Step 5 – Disconnect wheel speed sensor

The wheel speed sensor is on the backside of the hub assembly near the emergency brake cable eye loop. It’s labeled “B” in Figure 2. Remove the bolt holding the sensor to the hub with a 5/16″ socket. Carefully pull the sensor out of the hub. A small flat head screwdriver or pick can be used to pry the sensor free.

Step 6 – Remove wheel hub/axle shaft flange

Begin removing the axle shaft flange by removing the four 18mm nuts holding the axle shaft backing plate to the housing. As you begin to remove the shaft, some differential fluid may leak from the axle tube. Raise the axle tube above parallel to the ground to prevent this. To remove the axle shaft from the axle tube, you’ll need to pull outward on the axle shaft hub flange. This can be done by hand, with a slide hammer, or a pry bar. Be careful not to damage the tone wheel teeth. Pry in multiple positions against the hub flange to reduce binding in the axle tube and differential.

Step 7 – Remove bearings from the axle shaft

The bearings will need to be pressed on and off. Most shops will let you bring the axle shaft to them for this service. Replace the axle shaft seal and bearing carrier while installing new bearings.

Figure 5. The rear wheel bearing and bearing carrier.

Step 8 – Re-install

Carefully slide the axle shaft back into the axle tube. Torque the four axle shaft nuts to 75 ft/lbs. Re-install the emergency brake cable eye loop and wheel speed sensor. Install the rotor back onto the axle, and then the caliper bracket. Torque the two caliper bracket bolts to 75 ft/lbs. Re-install your wheel and torque the lug nuts to 100 ft/lbs.

Featured Video: How to Replace Wheel Bearings on Jeep (Rear)

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Jeep Wrangler JK: Suspension Performance Diagnostic Guide

Don’t pay for quick fixes that don’t solve your problem. Learn how to properly diagnose many common suspension problems before taking your JK to the shop.By Jeffrey Smith – December 1, 2015
Contributors: Planman, ronjenx

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

Suspension problems are some of the most difficult to pinpoint because they can appear as many different issues and emanate from virtually anywhere under your hood or under your Jeep itself. From an annoying squeaking sound to a vibration or the infamous death wobble, the suspension in your Jeep can be relatively easy to fix to a real pain that may require some professional help. The first step is to try and identify the cause of the problem so you know where to start or to help the professional get to the problem quickly and as efficiently as possible. Here are some of the more common symptoms of suspension issues and what you can do to fix them. Working these issues yourself will save you a lot of your hard earned cash, but if you are at all unsure of how to fix them, at least you will know what the problem is and how to guide your mechanic to fix it.

Materials Needed

  • Dial indicator or tape measure
  • Pry bar
  • Breaker bar
  • Vice grips, pliers
  • 3/4″ drive ratchet and socket set

Step 1 – Check and measure ball joints

If you have a vibration at higher speeds, it could mean that your ball joints are worn.

  • Lift the front end, one tire at a time, and place a jack stand under the axle near the floor jack.
  • Lower the jack a little to put some pressure and weight onto the jack stand.
  • You will need a second person as well as a pry bar to pry up and down under the tire while you watch the play in the lower ball joint.
  • Have your helper also grab the top and bottom of the tire and wiggle it in and out while you watch the side to side play in the upper ball joint.
  • The lower ball joint up and down play should not exceed 0.050″.
  • The upper ball joint side to side play should not exceed 0.060″.

If the lowers are good and the uppers are bad, you can get by with just replacing the upper ball joints. If the lower ball joints are bad, you should replace both sets, and you should replace on both sides even if only one side is showing out of range. Replacement ball joints costs can vary a great deal and there are many brands available to choose from; however, Synergy and Dynatrac are very popular choices among JK owners. They will set you back a little over $100 for a kit and both have very good warranties. Professional installation will likely charge upwards of $400 to do this work that should take a complete novice about three to four hours tops.

Figure 1. Measure the play of both the upper and lower ball joints to tell if they are within acceptable operating range.

Pro Tip

Many professionals will not measure the play in a ball joint and suggest you replace them in hopes that this solves your vibration problem. Make sure to have them measured because they may not actually be the cause of your suspension issues.

If your ball joints are good, make sure they are properly lubed and check on your CV boots next.

(Related Article: How to Replace Ball Joints – JK-Forum.com)

Step 2 – Check CV boots for wear or damage

A bad CV boot can’t be repaired in the JK, so the drive shaft will need to be replaced.

Symptoms of a bad CV boot involves more of a noise and a clicking sound rather than a bad vibration. If the boot is damaged, the drive shaft will need to be replaced. This isn’t a difficult job and can be done in just a couple of hours in your own garage. This will save a lot of money over having a professional do it for you. It does take significant hammering with a large mallet to free up the shaft from the flanges, but no special tools are required, and very few bolts as well as no extra parts need to be removed to do the job. If you get an aftermarket shaft, be sure to get one that has grease points built in to it; this will save you from doing another replacement in the future.

Figure 2. If you have to replace the front drive shaft, consider an aftermarket heavy duty that can be maintained.

If the noise isn’t a clicking so much as a popping noise, it could be the U-joints at the sway bar connection.

Step 3 – Disconnect sway bar

If the popping noise stops with the sway bar disconnected, then the U-joints should be replaced.

Some JK owners will disconnected the sway bar and leave it at that to stop the popping noise. The argument is that they never drive at highway speeds or take it off-road. While this may put an end to your symptoms, it is not exactly the safest practice and doesn’t really solve the inherent problem. The problem with replacing the U-joints on your JK Wrangler is that this isn’t that easy of a job. You will need a helper and a little mechanical know-how to get the job done.

  • Raise the Jeep and place on jack stands.
  • Remove the wheel and pull off the hub nut. Your helper will have to apply the brakes to break the hub nut free.
  • Remove the calipers, rotors and the hub sensor.
  • Remove the hub from the knuckle, which is a real bear, and then the axle shaft will pull right out.
  • With the shaft out, the hub should come off of the end; however, you may need some spray lubricant to facilitate this.
  • When the hub comes off the shaft, the U-joints will be accessible and can be replaced.

Figure 3. Replacing the U-joints may be the solution to your popping noise problem.

If your vibration still persists, ensure proper tire inflation and look for uneven wear from a bad alignment.

Step 4 – Check tires’ pressure and alignment

Improper wear on your tires can cause excessive noise and vibration, which is usually caused by an alignment issue.

An alignment would normally be one of the first things to look at, but in many cases, the JK being slightly out of alignment may cause the mechanic to immediately point to the ball joints or the U-joints. Since these are very costly to have repaired, we looked at those components first to ensure that the proper remedy is taken without taking you to the bank. Be sure to learn what the proper settings are for the toe, caster and camber for your alignment. Make sure your tires are properly inflated, rotated and balanced. Again, this would normally be the easiest thing to start off-checking, but to be sure, arm yourself with the proper working knowledge of your joints so they don’t get arbitrarily replaced.

Figure 4. The adjusting mechanisms of an alignment.

Figure 5. An example of before and after alignment specifications.

If your vibration is really horrific at higher speeds, you most likely have the dreaded death wobble.

Step 5 – Check suspension components for death wobble

At highway speeds, if your steering wheel takes on a life of its own, you likely have the serious issue of death wobble.

Various suspension components will contribute to the death wobble. The most common issues can be evaluated and remedied on your own, but with such a condition, you may opt to take your JK in to a professional to make sure that you get this correctly resolved. Driving with a death wobble can cause other serious problems with many components of your vehicle.

  • Remove the steering stabilizer and have someone turn the steering wheel from full left to full right slowly, and then make quick sudden movements back and forth.
  • Look for any play in any of the following: rod ends, drag link ends, trackbar ends and welds. There should be nothing moving out of play at all.
  • If nothing looks out of the ordinary, remove the trackbars and look at the bolts and the mounting holes. They may be worn and show movement there.
  • Check the trackbar bushings for cracking or splitting. If these are good, replace the trackbar and make sure they are torqued to 125 pounds.
  • Inspect the drag link ends and make sure there is no up and down play. Replace with heavy duty end links and make sure they are torqued properly.
  • Inspect the tie rod ends. There should be no up and down play, but only rotational movement.
  • Inspect the control arm bolts, holes and bushings for similar conditions with the tie rods and rod ends. The bolts can wear or become out of round with heavy use and off-road driving. Replace these if necessary.
  • Inspect the sector shaft from the steering box for any rotational warpage or other signs of breakage. Replace this if needed.
  • Replace the steering stabilizer with a heavy duty one for preventative measure.

Figure 6. Make sure to inspect all components of your suspension to solve your death wobble problem.

Featured Video: Common Source of Death Wobble on Jeep Wrangler JK

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Jeep Wrangler JK: General Information About Lifting Your Jeep

The Jeep JK is one of the most commonly used platforms for aftermarket lift installation and off-road use. There are many ways to lift your JK. Like most modifications, altering factory components will change the may your Jeep operates. This article focuses on knowing what these changes are and how to eliminate negative results.By Weston Chadwick – November 30, 2015
Contributors: Mount JEEP, pbujku13, Sierra JK, woodyvw9, MD5, Waiting, 4fit

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler (2007-present).

The JK uses a complex combination of arms, braces, and rods to make a reliable and effective steering and suspension platform both on the road and off. This makes it an easy vehicle to build upon for off-road use. A lot of questions may come up when you decide to add a lift, such as, “What problems might I face when lifting my JK?” or “What type is best for my goals?” After determining the answers to your questions, you will know how to combat common problems associated with lifts for a reliable, trouble-free Jeep JK.

Component Breakdown

Adjustable Upper and Lower Control Arms

Adjustable upper and lower control arms allow you to adjust castor. The factory control arms are non-adjustable. After installing a lift (generally over 3″) the front caster angles may become more negative, creating a “flighty” feeling. This is countered by increasing the castor in the positive direction to increase vehicle stability.

Figure 1. An adjustable control arm.

Adjustable Trackbar

When you install a suspension lift on your JK in excess of three inches, a lot of the suspension geometry changes. One of these is the horizontal position of the axle. An adjustable trackbar is needed because the factory trackbar is too short to keep the axle centered. Instead, it moves the axle to the side to keep the distance between the axle and track bar equal.

Figure 2. A front adjustable track bar.

Rear Track Bar Mount

Instead of installing an adjustable track bar for the rear, some companies provide a new track bar mount. This relocates the rear track bar to maintain factory position of the rear axle.

Figure 3. An aftermarket rear track bar mount.

Driveshaft

Once your JK exceeds four inches of suspension lift, you may need a modified driveshaft to maintain factory-like universal joint angles. Although a modified driveshaft is usually not required or included with a suspension lift installation kit, damage to the factory driveshaft and differentials can occur once the universal joints reach their maximum working angle.

Figure 4. An aftermarket driveshaft.

Exhaust Spacers

Once your lift exceeds 2.5 inches to 3 inches, you may need exhaust spacers. These move the exhaust crossover pipe further back, creating more clearance between the exhaust and front drive shaft/crossmember.

Figure 5. An installed exhaust spacer.

Common Questions

What are some different types of lifts?

There are many ways to lift your JK depending on the height desired and the components you’d like to change. These range from body lifts and leveling kits to coil spring lifts and coil spring spacers.

What size lift do I need to fit 35″ tires, 37″ tires, etc.?

You do not need a lift to fit 33″ tires that are less than 10″ wide when using stock wheels. If you have aftermarket wheels, the backspacing must be 4.5″ to clear a 33″ tire. 35″ tires will require a 2″ to 3″ lift while 37″-40″ tires will require a 4″ lift. Aftermarket fender flares will help increase the fender-to-tire clearance.

What are some companies with lift kits for the JK?

Teraflex, RK, and Metalcloak are some commonly used lift kit companies.

What size tire can I fit on the stock tire carrier?

A 35″ tire can fit the dimensions, but the weight may damage the tailgate and carrier. Owners install reinforced hinges and extended tailgate bumpstops to counter the problem.

Will my JK’s handling suffer with a lift kit?

This comes down to several factors such as alignment, type of tires, and type of lift. If you decide not to purchase adjustable track bars and control arms, then your alignment may be off and not correctable after the lift. This will affect your JK’s handling. Larger 35″+ tires will create more rolling resistance, increasing the steering effort required to make a turn, although with power steering this is not a large concern. Some lift types simply modify the stock components rather than replace them with modified versions. This can create wear and make the components work outside of the designed operating range, reducing their effectiveness on road.

How will larger tires affect my JK’s drivability?

Larger tires will make your engine rotate faster to cover the same amount of distance in any gear. Those with final drives lower than 3:73 and tires larger than 35″ will notice the increased engine revolutions at highway speeds.

How will a lift effect the Electronic Stability Program?

Your lift kit may alter the way the E.S.P. functions. You may be required to shut the program off or re-calibrate it to restore proper operation.

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Jeep Wrangler JK: How to Install Control Arms and Review

Control arms are a very popular addition to any Jeep. A set of aftermarket ones can provide a bigger, stronger, and longer replacement for those stock units.By Jeff White – November 25, 2015

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

Lifting a Jeep Wrangler is probably one of the most common and popular modifications done to these versatile vehicles. Lifts range in complexity from simple coil spacer lifts to full on long arm lifts where you pretty much change out most of the stock components for beefed up aftermarket pieces so that you can gain the maximum from your Jeep’s suspension. The most common of lifts is to replace the stock springs with some lift springs. But for most people who are into modifying their Jeep, it doesn’t stop there. Once they get the lift installed, they are immediately looking for the next way to go. The next step after installing a lift would be to look at the control arms. This will become the weakest link in a Jeep’s suspension once lifted. One of the reasons for this is because the stock control arms were designed for the stock ride height and because of the design of the Jeep’s suspension, these arms aren’t optimized for the change in suspension geometry that comes with a change in ride height. The stock arms are also not made to withstand serious off-roading and can tend to show their physical limits.

But don’t worry because there are solutions out there for all of these problems. Aftermarket control arms are offered by many different companies and just like with every other aftermarket part on offer, there is a range from mild to wild. Most will be stronger, bigger, longer and a few will even offer adjustability.

So, to make things a bit easier and give you an idea of what is on offer, here is a quick how-to and review.

Figure 1. Jeep Wrangler.

Table of Contents

How to Replace Your Control Arms

Note

The DIY Cost will depend on the brand you buy.

  • Rock Krawler: $250-295
  • Rough Country: $180
  • Teraflex: $180-290
  • JKS: $225-605

Materials Needed

  • Jack
  • 21mm socket
  • Ratchet
  • 21mm wrench
  • Torque wrench capable of 125 lb-ft
  • Mallet (if needed)

Step 1 – Loosen the bolt at the axle end

Each control arm is held in by (2) 21mm bolts. One bolt attaches the control arm to the frame and the other attaches the control arm to the axle. Locate and loosen the bolt at the axle end first. Once you have it loosened, go ahead and remove the bolt. There might be some tension on the bolt due to the fact that the frame end is still connected. You can use a jack to push on the frame, which will make it a bit easier to remove the bolt.

Figure 2. Axle bolts.

Step 2 – Loosen the bolt at the frame end

Next go ahead and loosen the bolt that connects the control arm to the frame. Once you have it loosened, you can remove it. It will be much easier to remove this one because the axle end bolt has already been removed.

Step 3 – Remove the control arm

After both bolts have been removed, you can then remove the control arm from the vehicle.

Figure 3. Pull down the control arm.

Figure 4. Control arm out.

Step 4 – Place frame end of new control arm into frame bracket

Starting with the frame end of the new control arm, go ahead and insert it into the frame bracket and slide the bolt through the bolt hole. It might be a tight squeeze for the new bushing, so you might have to use a mallet to get the end of the control arm into the bracket. Once you have the bolt installed, thread the nut onto the bolt but don’t tighten yet.

Figure 5. New control arm sliding into frame.

Step 5 – Place axle end of the new control arm into axle bracket

Once you have the frame end of the control arm into place in the frame bracket and the bolt installed, you can then place the axle end in the axle bracket. You will notice that once you get it installed, the bolt hole will be misaligned. That is okay. To align the bolt holes, place a jack under the frame near the frame end of the control arm. Lift up on the frame until you see the bolt holes align and then slide the bolt through the hole to install the nut. Do not tighten the bolt and nut yet.

Figure 6. Align control arm and frame holes.

Figure 7. Jack up control arm to align.

  • Figure 8. Bolt hole lining up.

Step 6 – Lift the tire off the ground

Now what you want to do before you tighten the bolt is to lift the tire of the corner you are working on off the ground and then lower it back down. This will make sure that the bushings find their way into place inside the brackets and cure any binding that might be present.

Figure 9. Check for binding.

Step 7 – Tighten the bolts

Now that you have seated the bushings, go ahead and tighten the bolts. You just want to snug them up, so don’t apply the final torque value yet. You will do that after you jounce the suspension.

Figure 10. Don’t be afraid to crank those bolts down.

Step 8 – Jounce the vehicle

After the bolts are nice and snug, the next step will be to jounce the vehicle. This is again to make sure that the arms are seated properly in the brackets now that the bolts are tighter. To jounce the suspension, the easiest way to do this will be to stand on the front bumper and bounce up and down. You might want to place a blanket or something to protect the bumper that you can stand on, as you can see in the picture below. I know this seems somewhat ridiculous, but it is necessary to make sure that the bushings find themselves into the correct place inside the bracket and they don’t bind.

Figure 11. Bounce the suspension.

Step 9 – Torque the bolts to 125 lb-ft

The final step will be to torque the bolts to 125 lb-ft. It is very important that you torque them to the correct value because if they get over-tightened, this could cause the bushing to bind and eventually cause damage. If they are not tightened enough, this could cause the bushing to be loose inside the bracket and cause the control arm to not work properly. Torque is important.

Featured Video: How to Install JKS Control Arms

Control Arms Review

Control arms come in many different forms from many different manufacturers. For the most part, they are all trying to accomplish the same things. The differences between them will mainly be between price and how they are manufactured. There are lift kits out there that come with control arms as part of the kit, but this review will focus on ones that you can buy separately. You might have a lift installed already and want to now do the control arms, or you might be one of those people that want to piece together your own lift kit with specific components that you prefer. Here are some options that you may consider.


Rock KrawlerRough CountryTeraflexJKS
Price$250-$295$180-700$180-$290$225-$605
Arms w/ AdjustabilityYesYesYesYes
Arms w/out AdjustabilityNoNoYesYes, Only offered on Lower Arms
GreasableYes, But Only on Lower ArmsYes, on both Upper and LowerYes, with FlexArm Kit Arms for both Upper and LowerYes
Arm MaterialAlloy SteelAlloy SteelDOMDOM Body, Adjustable Arms Feature Solid Steel Shafts
Bushing TypeBall in Joint and PolyurethaneAdjustable and Rebuildable Ball in Joint and PolyurethaneRubber, Ball in joint for Adjustable ArmsRubber and Ball in Joint
WarrantyAbuse Proof Lifetime WarrantyLifetime Replacement WarrantyLifetime Warranty Against DefectsLifetime Limited Warranty

Rock Krawler

Price – Upper Control Arms: Front and Rear – $250

Lower Control Arms: Front and Rear – $295

Adjustability – The front uppers are adjustable only on one end. The rear uppers are adjustable on both. The front and rear lowers are only adjustable on one side.

Bushings – The upper arms feature non-greasable ball in joint bushings, while the lowers feature greasable ball in joint bushings on one end and polyurethane on the other.

Rock Krawler has a limited selection of control arms, but what they do have on offer looks to be of good quality and value. The provide adjustability to fix any caster problems you might be experiencing, so that you can get that alignment dialed in.

Rough Country

Price – Upper Control Arms: Front and Rear – $180

Lower Control Arms: Front and Rear – $180

Complete Set: $700

Adjustability – All arms are only adjustable on one end.

Bushings – Arms feature re-buildable and adjustable bushings.

Rough Country has been in the Jeep aftermarket industry for a while now. One of the unique things about their arms is that they provide an adjustable bushing where you can set the preload of the bushing, allowing to increase the life of the bushing and making them always feel new. When the bushing finally does wear out, it can be rebuilt, which is an added bonus.

Teraflex

Price – Upper Control Arms: Front (Non-Adj) – $180

Upper Control Arms: Rear (Non-Adj) – $200

Lower Control Arms: Front and Rear (Non-Adj) – $200

Upper Control Arms: Front (Adj) $280

Upper Control Arms: Rear (Adj) $290

Lower Control Arms: Front and Rear (Adj) $280

Adjustability – Teraflex offers two levels of arms with adjustability. The Alpine Flexarm offers the dependability of the sport flex arm with the adjustability of the monster flex arm, so it is essentially the middle of the road when it comes to adjustability. The adjustability is focused on re-centering the axle after installing a lift.

Bushings – While the non-adjustable arms and Alpine arms feature rubber bushings, the complete flex arm kit features a ball in joint style bushing.

Teraflex takes their selection of arms up a notch compared to the other two previous companies. They offer what is essentially a tiered selection of arms. Starting with a non-adjustable selection, then moving onto a factory style bushing with adjustability, and then finishing it off with a more durable and rebuildable ball in joint bushing with full adjustability. It all depends on how serious you are trying to get. I would say these are probably the way to go if you are looking for maximum value with trying to keep the price on the lower end of the spectrum.

JKS

Price – Upper Control Arms: Front and Rear (Adj) – $300-$395

Lower Control Arms: Front and Rear (Non-Adj) – $225

Lower Control Arms: Front and Rear (Adj) – $350-$605

Adjustablity – JKS offers two different types of adjustable arms. Some use the standard threaded type of adjuster, and they also offer a variable length arm that uses a solid shaft and tube style adjuster. Both are designed with the focus of correcting suspension geometry caused by adding a lift and changing the ride height.

Bushings – Most of the JKS arms feature rubber bushings to help in absorbing any road noise and harshness. They do offer a ball in joint style bushing on the threaded adjustable arms. This bushing is also re-buildable and greasable.

JKS has a great selection of arms on offer and seems to be quite focused on the engineering side of things. Their arms are slightly higher in price compared to the other companies, but I believe that this reflects in the design and manufacture of the arms. They also come with a fairly nice coating to keep them looking fresh.

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